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would undermine the flourishing career of their U.S.
citizen daughter, an extremely talented dancer.
"As an 11 year old child[,] she is a professional dancer, employed by an NBA franchise," the BIA noted.
"Due to her demonstrated aptitude[,] she trains with
adults. Moreover, she dances competitively with two
dance schools. These facts establish she is extremely
talented. This talent has provided her with unusual
opportunities." The BIA concluded that because of the
daughter's talent, and the significant opportunities
available in this country, "the hardship created by her
inability to continue dancing is substantially beyond
that which would typically result when a close family
member leaves the United States."
To illustrate the child's aptitude and accomplishments in hip-hop dancing during the immigration
court hearing, Kevin Crabtree, an attorney at the
Law Office of Robert L. Lewis in Oakland, CA, relied
on documentary evidence and testimony from the
child's mother. He showed the immigration judge full
color photos of the child performing at NBA games.
He also provided information about the high admissions standards of each of the two schools that the
child attends, one of which even features her profile
on its website. And through the examination of the
child's mother, Crabtree was able to demonstrate how
her hip-hop knowledge and career management were
critical to her daughter's rising success. In retrospect,
Crabtree said that he also would have called on witnesses from the schools and the NBA team to testify,
as well, to describe the child's flair for dancing.
A few weeks before submitting the BIA's decision to
AILA for publication, Crabtree noticed In re Ruperto
Andrade, A097 681 046 (BIA Sept.
17, 2012), another cancellation
of removal case involving a
child with stellar credentials. "I was wondering if
Litigating Immigration Cases
in Federal Court, 3rd Ed.
Representing Clients with
Mental Health Issues (Recording)
FOR MORE ON REMOVAL:
The Waivers Book
Appeals to a Higher Authority: AAO and BIA
Cancellation of Removal for Non-LPRs and
LPRs (Seminar Recording)
it's part of a trend of the [Obama] administration recognizing exceptionally gifted children, in a sense, and
I kind of think that might be consistent with DACA
and DREAM Act," he said.
To increase the chances of prevailing on an application for cancellation, Crabtree advises attorneys delve
into their client's past, "find the hook that's going to
matter to the judge," and explore it.
Sheeba Raj is a legal editor for AILA and reporter for
M AY/ J UNE 2013